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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day

Image from Wizards.com

Yukora, the Prisoner
Betrayers of Kamigawa

Reviewed May 17, 2005

Constructed: 3.25
Casual: 3.25
Limited: 2.75

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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Card of the Day Reviews 

Jeff Zandi

5 Time Pro Tour

Yukora, the Prisoner

This is a great card that I didn't think was very good when I first saw it.
This is because I first encountered Yukora in a booster draft. Ripping open my Betrayers pack, there he was, staring back at me in all of his 5/5 fatness. Still, I couldn't get over the idea that if he were destroyed (which happens to the best of creatures on a regular basis) that I would lose all the rest of my creatures (my non-Ogre creatures). This is a classic case of Missing The Point. The POINT is that Yukora rules the board from the moment he hits the table. In the popular color combination of black/green, Yukora might even hit the table on turn three. When he lands on the table, chances are good that your opponent doesn't have a way to get rid of him.

WHAM, Yukora smashes for five. Chances are good that your opponent doesn't have enough creatures to team block him and destroy him. WHAM, Yukora smashes for five. Lots of times, when you play Yukora, you don't have a lot of other creatures in play and therefore no reason to fear Yukora's drawback. Finally, even if you DO have lots of non-Ogre creatures in play and your opponent DOES have enough creatures to block Yukora and kill him (destroying your board in the bargain) you still have another way to win.

Attack with Yukora as well as all your other creatures. Your opponent can't afford to take five damage, he needs to block Yukora with enough guys to kill him, causing him to allow many of your other attackers to come through unblocked. On top of all of this, there are many tricks in many different colors that you could use to keep Yukora from dying even after he is blocked by two or more creatures with enough accumulated power to destroy him. You could remove one of the blockers with Horobi's Whisper, Consuming Vortex or even little ol' First Volley in order to cause the blocking player to no longer be able to kill Yukora after all blocks have been declared. You could give your Yukora +1/+0 and first strike with a small white instant, or give your Yukora protection from a color with Blessed Breath, you could power up your Yukora with any number of green spells. The list goes on and on. In constructed play, Yukora could be even more powerful. A mono black control deck might be primarily focused on destroying the opponent's hand with discard spells and their creatures with global removal spells, then drop Yukora as a win condition. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I love this card. Best giant black fattie in, say, ten years...?



* Game Store Owner

Yukora, the Prisoner - Tuesday

This guy is quite fun. He's a good creature for monoblack decks with very few creatures. That way you don't risk losing anything from playing it. There were a few block constructed deck using this guy and they simply played a large number of demons as their creatures. Getting a 5/5 for four mana is great. It's even better with this small of a drawback. It's not as great in limited, because it's a bit harder to keep it from killing your other creatures when it dies.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3
Limited: 2.5

Paul Hagan

Yukora, the Prisoner --

This is a good example of showing that drawbacks can easily be worked around. All you have to do is play Yukora in (A) an Ogre deck, (B) a deck with few creatures, or (C) a deck where you don't mind another creature going to the graveyard (ex. Kokusho, the Evening Star), and you have a cheap 5/5. I really do like Yukora, and I think he should be considered for any black deck that meets any of the above criteria.

Casual players can probably find better options at four mana, so unless you have a limitation on what sets you can use, I'd suggest passing on this guy.

In limited, it is difficult to say if you should play Yukora or not. I think I would include him, but not necessarily play him every time I had the opportunity. His drawback has potential to be devastating when your deck isn't planned around him.

Constructed Rating: 3.0
Casual Rating: 2.5
Limited Rating: 2.5


Yukora, the Prisoner
Well, duh...it's good in an Ogre deck.  But most Ogres are Red, not Black.  Still, it's a 5/5, and if you can handle the board wiping, he may be a good deal for Casual or Limited play.
Constructed - 2.5
Casual - 3
Limited - 3.5
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